A volcano in northwest Costa Rica erupted on Monday, spewing an enormous column of smoke into the air in what could be its biggest outburst in years, authorities said.
The Rincon de la Vieja volcano’s nearly three-minute eruption in the early hours of the day belched a column of smoke almost two kilometers (1.2 miles) high, depositing ash on surrounding areas but causing no damage or injuries.
The volcano, whose eruption did not trigger any immediate evacuations, is situated in a national park in Guanacaste province some 200 kilometers from the capital, San Jose.
“It was a pretty energetic eruption,” said Maarten de Moor, a specialist at the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (Ovsicori).
Although the volcano has frequent outbursts — some 1,400 last year alone — this “could be the largest since the 1990s,” he added.
The National Commission for Risk Prevention and Emergency Management said it had deployed a team to evaluate the situation, and urged people not to approach the site.
Costa Rica has five active volcanos.
Courtesy of france24.com
Scientists have downgraded the alert level at Great Sitkin Volcano near the Aleutian Island of Adak following an eruption Tuesday night.
The event took place at around 9 p.m. and produced an ash cloud up to 15,000 feet above sea level and impacted flights.
“The eruption itself occurred for over about a minute,” said David Fee, coordinating scientist for the Alaska Volcano Observatory. “It had a very loud, audible and low frequency sound to it. I guess a good analogy would be if you shake up a bottle and then you pop the cork and get an explosion out the top. That’s kind of what happened here.”
Following the eruption, Fee said, they issued a red alert warning for planes in the area, because there was likely a high emission of volcanic ash in the atmosphere.
“We lowered the advisory back down to orange this morning,” Fee told KUCB Wednesday morning. “And there hasn’t been much activity — I think it’s mainly just steaming since the eruption last night.”
According to Fee, the activity at Great Sitkin isn’t “normal,” but it’s also not unexpected, given some small explosions that have happened there over the past few years.
He said the volcano observatory will continue to watch closely for increased seismic activity or gas emissions that could indicate another eruption, but for now, it’s pretty quiet.
“We haven’t seen an eruption like this from Great Sitkin at least as long as I’ve been around here,” he said. “So it could quiet down or we could expect continued activity. We’ll just have to wait and see.”
This is the first significant explosion at Great Sitkin since 1974.
Courtesy of alaskapublic.org